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Victorino getting to the core of the issue

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff  February 25, 2014 01:41 PM

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Red Sox players running sprints in front of high-speed cameras.

FORT MYERS, Fla. A few notes from the brief and largely uneventful Red Sox workout today:

Shane Victorino, still recovering from surgery on his right thumb, has started swinging a bat. But he's not close to be ready for games.

"He went through two really good days of work," manager John Farrell said. "Coming out of swinging the bat off the tee, soft toss and some light BP, we felt there were some other things we needed to address just from core strengthening and he's going through that right now."

Farrell did not have a date for Victorino to get in games, saying the core work has to be taken care of first. Victorino had groin problems (and assorted other injuries) last season and the Red Sox are being cautious with him now.

"This is not related to the hand," Farrell said. "He feels good there. He came out and ran today for about 12 minutes, ran the bases some. He threw. We just feel there's more to his base and foundation that we can build physically before ramping up the work."

Farrell said the issue should not affect Victorino's availability in terms of Opening Day.

Grady Sizemore is progressing quicker than the Red Sox expected given the two years he missed with various injuries.

"We came into camp knowing we were going to have to work off of his readiness and comfort level," Farrell said. "He's answered everything within the schedule so far. You can see the look on his face and the way he answers questions about fundamentally the timing at the plate or physically how he's responding."

Sizemore is scheduled to play on Thursday in the college doubleheader.

"Thursday is not too soon based on some of the answers he's gotten through the workouts," Farrell said.

Farrell said there is less checking in with Sizemore on a daily basis than was expected.

"The doubt is less," the manager said. "Based on what he has been able to do so far, those pressing questions are a little less than first anticipated."

On those days when Koji Uehara is resting, Farrell mentioned Edward Mujica and Andrew Miller as the backup closer candidates.

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